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Social Networking Giant Facebook Suspends Several Apps Post-Cambridge Analytica Probe

Facebook has also removed a number of application programming interfaces (APIs), the channels that developers use to access various types of data

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Facebook has suspended thousands of apps associated with nearly 400 developers for a variety of reasons, as it continues to investigate suspicious apps after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The social networking giant said that it is not yet confirmed these apps were posing a threat to people.

“Many were not live but were still in their testing phase when we suspended them. It is not unusual for developers to have multiple test apps that never get rolled out.

“In many cases, the developers did not respond to our request for information so we suspended them, honouring our commitment to take action,” Facebook said in a blog post on Friday.

Facebook began its “App Developer Investigation” in March 2018 as part of its response to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The company aimed to review all of the apps that had access to large amounts of information before it changed its platform policies in 2014.

“Our App Developer Investigation is by no means finished. But there is meaningful progress to report so far. To date, this investigation has addressed millions of apps,” Facebook said.

Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

In a few cases, Facebook has banned some apps completely.

“That can happen for any number of reasons including inappropriately sharing data obtained from us, making data publicly available without protecting people’s identity or something else that was in clear violation of our policies,” the company said.

In May, Facebook filed a lawsuit in California against Rankwave, a South Korean data analytics company that failed to cooperate with its investigation.

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“We’ve also taken legal action against developers in other contexts. For example, we filed an action against LionMobi and JediMobi, two companies that used their apps to infect users’ phones with malware in a profit-generating scheme,” it added.

Facebook has also removed a number of application programming interfaces (APIs), the channels that developers use to access various types of data.

“We have clarified that we can suspend or revoke a developer’s access to any API that it has not used in the past 90 days. And we will not allow apps on Facebook that request a disproportionate amount of information from users relative to the value they provide,” the company said. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Loses its Place Among the World’s 10 Most Valuable Brands

Only 28 per cent of Facebook users believed the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79 per cent

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Hit by privacy scandals and year-round investigations, Facebook has lost its place among the world’s 10 most valuable brands in global brand consultancy Interbrand’s annual ranking of best top 100 brands.

Facebook fell to the 14th spot. Two years back, the social networking giant was at the eighth spot in the list, billed as a “rapidly appreciating” brand.

Apple led the top 100 best brands’ list, followed by Google and Amazon. Microsoft was the fourth, Coca Cola fifth and Samsung came sixth on the list.

The seventh spot was grabbed by Toyota, Mercedes was the eighth, McDonald’s ninth and Disney was at the 10th spot.

Pitching for breaking up Facebook, US-based software giant Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has called the social networking platform “new cigarettes” which are making kids addictive. Benioff said that the company must be held accountable now.

Several US lawmakers like Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have also been pitching to break up Facebook.

Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 40 state attorneys general in the US have decided to join probe against Facebook’s anti-competitive business practices.

Facebook this year agreed to pay $5 billion as a settlement to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over privacy violations.

According to a survey by independent research firm Ponemon Institute in 2018, users’ confidence in Facebook plunged by 66 per cent after Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users.

Also Read: Apple Users can Now Report Accidents, Traffic on Google Maps

Only 28 per cent of Facebook users believed the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79 per cent.

“We found that people care deeply about their privacy and when there is a mega data breach, as in the case of Facebook, people will express their concern. And some people will actually vote with their feet and leave,” Ponemon said in a statement. (IANS)